Minor performers’ bill removes needed protections

Today the Senate Committee on Children and Families and Workforce Development held a public hearing on SB 295.  SB 295, authored by Sen. Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn), would change current law to allow minors 14 and under to work as musicians or performers at roadhouses, cabarets, dance halls, night clubs, taverns or similar places.

Wisconsin Family Action President, Julaine Appling, provided testimony in opposition to this bill.  Read the testimony here.

We’re very concerned about the unintended consequences of SB 295, which is tailored toward a specific situation and does not take into account the irresponsible parents or tavern/roadhouse/etc., employers who might exploit children under this bill.  Why would we want to put minors, particularly children under the age of 14, in situations and environments that specifically cater to drinking and adult-oriented entertainment?  We can’t think of any reason good enough for the government to sanction such risk-taking with our children.

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2 comments on “Minor performers’ bill removes needed protections

  1. Lin Kenworthy says:

    Back in November of 2009 the Delavan Enterprise had an article on Sen. Kedzie’s introduction of Senate Bill 295. I read the bill on the web and at that time I submitted an inquiry to Rep. Gunderson as to why he would be a co-signer on such a bill. To date no reply, but my comments were as such: Being involved with porn issues via Morality in Media of WI/NY and domestic abuse/grandparenting issues, I wanted to know first why would he co-sign such a bill and then why it is needed to “level the playing field” of a 9 year old child with that of an adult entertainer in “other types of businesses” where a child might be encouraged to perform? That this type of “bending and leveling for minors” as requested is opening the door to much deeper problems for our children given societal trends, as well as exploitation of our children. Looking deeper into this situation (hours of time for a child to be children) vs priorities and lifestyle encouragement by a controlling parent for personal gain or other intent, should all be considered.

    Where is “in the Best Interest of the Child”, or is it safe to say this Bill is in keeping with being “detrimental to their life, health safety or general welfare”?

    The whole reason behind submitting this bill by Senator Kedzie is not in anyone’s good interest. Art in this form has many tremendous outlets for which to expand a child’s talents. Children are being exploited at a tremendous rate today in WI and our Country. They are our future and need to be guided in a much better system than this. Certainly there are many other very demanding issues needing addressed in our state than something of this nature.

  2. Jean Schultz says:

    I am definitely against such a bill. Children should not be performing in a place that sells alcohol. Why should they be exposed to this world too. If people want to see a particular child perform, have them perform in another place.
    This bill should not be passed. Our children need adults that have some wisdom.

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